A March 2000 trip
to Venice by jwagner
Quote: Lose the map for a few minutes, cross into a narrow street and just start walking until you get lost. It's the best way to sample all that Venice has to offer: great food, a beautiful setting, wonderful shopping, terrific photo ops, and an interesting cultural lesson
Watch out for counterfeit money. The only people who CAN'T spot it are Americans, and it is everywhere.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 25, 2000
CALLE PRIULI 106
Venice, Italy 30121
39 041 715253
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 25, 2000
Near Campo San Lio
Attraction | "St. Mark's Square"
St. Mark's Square/Piazza San Marco
Venice, Italy 30124
The night before our arrival in Venice was a beer-soaked farewell to Munich at the Hofbrauhaus. The five of us slept fitfully on the train, waking up from cloudy dreams fueled by too much bier. I woke up in time to change trains in Verona and then watched the Venetian countryside through bleary eyes. Thick fog shrouded the landscape as we approached Venice. Every few miles, we stopped to pick up finally dressed workers on their way to the city. By the time we arrived at the station the train was packed.
A good reason why you should always carry a little local currency with you as you arrive at a destination. At the train station, I made a mad dash for the water closet, not sure if I would vomit or suffer some gastic explosion because of the beer. With cheeks tightly clenched, I talked the attendant into taking $1 (U.S.) for admittance into the clean WC. It was money well spent.
At the food service counter, I traded the clerk 100,000 lire for a little sandwich and a diet pepsi, the first time I saw 'the taste of a new generation' available in Europe. I stuffed the wad of money into my pocket and headed for a newsstand to grab an English-language newspaper (plan your trips abroad carefully during March Madness) and I handed the clerk a 10,000 lire bill she called for a policeman who questioned me about counterfeit money. He confiscated the bill and took down my passport information. I expected to see my picture on the front page of the local newspaper 'Iowa counterfeiter thwarted at train station' the headline would read.
Of course, this was no precursor for the trip to Venice.
The Italian people dress impeccably and the side streets of Venice are decorated with the laundry of people who hang their fine clothing out to dry.
Everywhere we went, Italian men and women were chatting on cell phones (we were told that for some, it was their only phone.
Venice is impossible to navigate, even after several visits. But much of its charm comes from the unexpected: the tiny church at the end of a dark alley; the old men playing chess and sharing their sandwich crumbs with the pigeons; the site of Gondeliers seducing tourists on the Grand Canal. Mangy cats. Curious dogs. Beautiful children.
St. Mark's is like one of those mood rings everyone wore in the 1970s. By day it is all business. It's job: to please the busloads of tourists who come here on day trips. But at night, the scene changes and the square fills up with artists selling their wares and young people doing makeshift mating dances with backpackers from around the world.
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